It's been a wonderful week to serve the Lord. Things have been a little discouraging at times this week, but every time I reflect back on the miracles of the day and week everything brightens up. I think that's an important life skill I'm learning on my mission:) Just look at the good and know God is with you:)
So here are a few of the miracles of the week:) On Saturday night Sister Sexton and I decided to heart attack (putting a lot of hearts on people's doors and a message card) a few of our members, but everyone we planned on doing had the wrong address listed in our member book, so we couldn't find their houses.. so anyway, we were trying to find a member's house and we stopped to look at our map and realized we had wandered straight to another member's house that we had been thinking about lately. Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor:) So we heart attacked their door. Also, we decided to heart attack a less active because it might make her remember to come to church. So we did (and we had to walk up 15 flights of stairs to do so haha- long story) but then she totally came to church the next day! It was SO good! It just made me realize that sometimes we have our plans, and we want to do what is right, but Heavenly Father just has a better plan for us, and if we listen and try our best He guides us to do what is best:)
Also, there is these two girls in our ward that have gone less active just since I came here, which is way sad, and we just have been trying to work with them a lot, because I'm determined to leave things stronger than I found it, not the other way around. Anyway, so we always visit them and call and text and they just always makes up excuses about how they're busy every Sunday. But finally yesterday the older one just came to church! I am not sure why, but we were so happy! And the ward all asked her in a friendly way where she had been, and I think it was really good for her to see that everyone missed her, and that the ward does care about her. Anyway. Heavenly Father is the best.:)
Also this week we had a ward picnic! It was so fun! We did a scavenger hunt and played a bunch of games and just had a really good time with everyone. I love this ward so much! I think it took me a little longer than in Songpa, but I love this ward just as much now. They have such wonderful and dedicated people here, and I"m so grateful to serve with them and help them. Also at the picnic, the Bishop's wife gave us a referral, which made us so happy, because we have been trying so hard to find investigators, but haven't had much luck yet. Anyway, hopefully that works out. We called her and she seems really nice and willing to meet with us, she's just busy this week, so we'll see.
On Wednesday, we did another English activity to try to find investigators to meet with us in the Family English Program we have, which is that we teach English for 30 minutes, and then we teach gospel for 30 minutes. It's definitely an inspired program and most of the investigators I had in Songpa had started out English interest and then realized that they only wanted to learn the gospel. It's great. Anyway, in the space of an hour and a half, we got 128 numbers of high school students that want to learn English. We have been calling them and many of them seem interested in coming to our English classes we hold each week, which is awesome because that's a really natural way to meet them again. Anyway. Things are good with that. Also, Sister Sexton and I have been doing this thing lately where she makes me make calls all by myself (without the phone on speaker phone haha) and that has been... interesting. Mostly I don't have any idea what people are saying to me, but I"m getting a lot better at understanding and replying, which is good. And she also makes me call ward members because for the most part they are really patient with me and just repeat things until I understand. So that's been really good! I was so happy the first time I made a call all by myself! I just know that Heavenly Father is really helping me grow and learn Korean! It makes me happy to realize that 7 months ago I didn't know any Korean, and now I can make phone calls entirely in Korean. Anyone that says the Gift of Tongues isn't real just needs to serve a mission. haha. It's definitely real. Heavenly Father really blesses us when we are on His errand.
Also this week, we had Zone Conference in Songpa!!! I was SO happy to be able to go back to my first area!!!! It was the best! And I was especially happy because I served there in the winter time, so going back now that it's spring was incredible!! It's SO pretty there! I just couldn't get over how green everything was and the flowers everywhere! I was so happy! Anyway, for the conference we all went and hiked up a mountain at the edge of Songpa, which is maybe the most beautiful place I have ever been. It was incredible. We hiked up to the top of the mountain to the fort where a Korean King was and they were able to defend from the Chinese attacks there. It was so cool to learn a little more Korean history and see some cool sites, but also get to learn about being a better missionary and stop at these sights and talk about some important truths such as faith, hope and charity. It was an incredible day and I learned a lot from the Holy Ghost about how I can be a better missionary:) After the conference we all went back to the church in Songpa, and there were some members there at a ward activity, and Sue (my favorite Songpa member) and Kristine (my old investigator who is really old and lonely) were there! It was SO fun to see them again and just talk to them for a few minutes! I think that Sue is just my favorite person in Korea! haha. She is always so happy to see me, and says what a difference my happiness made in the ward and in her life, which is really nice of her. Anyway. It was a little tender mercy from the Lord, and I'm so grateful I have so many of those:)
As a final note, I wanted to talk a little about the New Testament. I think it's in chapter 13 of Matthew that Jesus gives the parable of a man who finds a pearl of great price and then sells everything he has to buy it. When I read that, it really made a big impact on me. This week I hit my 7th month mark as a missionary, and it was a really good time for me to evaluate where I am and what I still want to accomplish. I made some goals about that, and likened it to "a pearl of great price" and decided I'm going to work as hard as I can to obtain that pearl. I just love the image of that and it has made me love pearls even more. I really am so happy to be here studying the scriptures and learning all I can about Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father. They love us so much, and I'm grateful to be helping their children, and that they are helping me as well!:) I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! You are the best!!!